Bart Starr turns 81, still recovering from stroke

GREEN BAY, Wis. – The last time Bart Starr Jr. was in Green Bay, he came with encouraging news about his father's health.

Speaking at a charity function on Dec. 8 for Rawhide Boys Ranch, a home for troubled youth that Bart Starr Sr. helped start nearly 50 years ago, the son of the Hall of Fame quarterback said his father had just taken his first steps since he sustained multiple strokes and a heart attack in September.

On his 81st birthday Friday, Starr's recovery, however, remains difficult.

"We would like to see faster progression, but these situations are going to be very challenging," Starr Jr. said. "Dad turns 81 years old [on Friday]. That's just the reality. It's going to be a tough battle, and we're trying to see what we can do to assist his progress every day."

Starr Jr. said he plans to attend Sunday's playoff game against the Dallas Cowboys at Lambeau Field. It's the first Packers-Cowboys' playoff game in Green Bay since the Ice Bowl, when Starr Sr. beat the Cowboys on a last-second quarterback sneak to win the 1967 NFL Championship. Starr Jr. attended that game as a 10-year-old.